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  • Posted: Dec 21, 2020
    Deadline: Jan 30, 2021
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    United Nations and regional organizations; provides administrative and other support services to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat); provides joint and common services to other organizations of the United Nations system in Kenya, as applicable; and manages and implements the program...
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    Special Assistant, Administration

    The Special Assistant provides direct support to the Director-General in relation to his/her responsibilities as Representative of the Secretary-General in Kenya and the main UN interlocutor with the host country.


    Under the direct supervision of the Director-General , the Special Assistant will be responsible for the following main duties:

    • Provide dedicated substantive support and assistance to the Director-General (DG) in the discharge of her/his responsibilities as Executive Head of UNON.
    • Works with the Chief, Office of the Director-General to develop and maintain relations with host government officials, particularly on host country related issues.
    • Assist in liaising with counterparts within the United Nations system, other international organizations, Permanent Missions, academic and research institutions and other stakeholders to exchange information, co-ordinate and seek support on key activities of the Office.
    • Supports the Director-General in dealing with Member States and promotes positive, healthy relationships with external partners.
    • Supports the Chief, Office of the Director-General in coordinating the Director-General’s Compact with the Secretary-General.
    • Coordinates and organizes all Townhall meetings including Director-General’s and senior managers’ interventions as required.
    • Supports the Chief, Office of the Director-General in preparing inputs for the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) Inspection and Evaluation Division (IED) biennial studies and evaluation related functions.
    • Supports UNON updates for the website and intranet to ensure quality, timely, updated information.
    • Coordinating the preparation of meetings and events involving the Director-General, including bilateral and multilateral meetings and official ceremonies held at UNON.
    • Supporting the preparation of high-level Government and Senior UN official visits.
    • Directs the preparation and review of relevant written documents and reports on issues for the Director-General, ensuring a broad consultative process with UNON where required, and quality and timeliness of all required follow-up.
    • Draft, or supervise the drafting of substantive correspondence for the DG's signature, including material of a confidential nature.
    • Prepares remarks, speeches, official statements, briefing notes, talking points and other written materials for the Director-General on various topics in coordination with the relevant Divisions and in consultation with relevant UN system partners as appropriate.
    • Collaborates closely with the Chief, Office of the Director-General and provides backstopping, as necessary.
    • Organizing and serving as rapporteur of UNON’s Senior Management Group meetings.
    • Supports Chief, Office of the Director-General in coordinating and integrating the work of the Executive Office with the rest of UNON, ensuring effective engagement and cohesion with all Divisions and Offices and resolution of issues.
    • Ensures the organization, coordination and supervision of activities and tasks requiring the attention of the Director-General, and the communication of instructions and decisions of the Director-General to those concerned at all levels (Divisions and Offices).
    • Perform other related duties as assigned.


    • PROFESSIONALISM: Ability to produce high quality work with limited supervision and in unfamiliar environment; ability to identify issues, formulate options, make conclusions and recommendations for their resolution; very good research, analytical and problem-solving skills; excellent negotiations skills. Shows pride in work and in achievements; demonstrates professional competence and mastery of subject matter; is conscientious and efficient in meeting commitments, observing deadlines and achieving results; is motivated by professional rather than personal concerns; shows persistence when faced with difficult problems or challenges; remains calm in stressful situations; commitment to implementing the goal of gender equality by ensuring the equal participation and full involvement of women and men in all aspects of work.
    • PLANNING AND ORGANIZING: Develops clear goals that are consistent with agreed strategies; identifies priority activities and assignments; adjusts priorities as required; allocates appropriate amount of time and resources for completing work; foresees risks and allows for contingencies when planning; monitors and adjusts plans and actions as necessary; uses time efficiently.
    • COMMUNICATION: Speaks and writes clearly and effectively; listens to others, correctly interprets messages from others and responds appropriately; asks questions to clarify, and exhibits interest in having two-way communication; tailors language, tone, style and format to match audience; demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed.


    Advanced university degree (Master's degree or equivalent) degree in political science, international relations, international economics, international development, law, public administration, or related field, is required. A first-level university degree in combination with qualifying experience may be accepted in lieu of the advanced university degree.

    Work Experience

    • A minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience in administration, finance, accounting, human resources management or related field is required.
    • Experience as a Special Assistant to a Senior Official is desirable.
    • Experience in humanitarian, post conflict situations and/or in peacebuilding operations within the United Nations system including UN funds, programmes and agencies, other international or regional organizations or NGOs, is desirable.
    • A minimum of five of the seven years of progressively responsible experience in programme management, political science, international relations, protocol, law, development, management, conflict resolution or related area is required.


    English and French are the working languages of the United Nations Secretariat. For the post advertised, fluency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of another official United Nations language is an advantage. "Fluency" equals a rating of “fluent” in all four areas (read, write, speak, understand) and “ Knowledge of” equals a rating of “ confident” in two of the four areas.


    Evaluation of qualified candidates for this position may include a substantive assessment which will be followed by a competency-based interview.

    Special Notice

    Appointment against this post is for an initial period of one year and may be subject to extension. Staff members are subject to the authority of the Secretary-General and to assignment by him or her. In this context, all staff are expected to move periodically to new functions in their careers in accordance with established rules and procedures.

    The United Nations Secretariat is committed to achieving 50/50 gender balance in its staff. Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply for this position.

    Internal Applicants – when completing the PHP, ensure ALL fields, ALL professional experience and contact information are completed and up to date. This information is the basis for the hiring manager to assess your eligibility and suitability for the position and to contact you.

    Individual contractors and consultants who have worked within the UN Secretariat in the last six months, irrespective of the administering entity, are ineligible to apply for professional and higher temporary or fixed-term positions and their applications will not be considered.

    For this position, applicants from the following Member States, which are unrepresented or underrepresented in the UN Secretariat as of 29 February 2020, are strongly encouraged to apply: Afghanistan, Andorra, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahrain, Belize, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Central African Republic, China, Comoros, Cuba, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Dominica, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Grenada, Guinea-Bissau, Japan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Monaco, Mozambique, Nauru, Norway, Oman, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Suriname, Timor-Leste, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Vanuatu, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

    All applicants are strongly encouraged to apply on-line as soon as possible after the job opening has been posted and well before the deadline stated in the job opening. On-line applications will be acknowledged where an email address has been provided. If you do not receive an e-mail acknowledgement within 24 hours of submission, your application may not have been received. If the problem persists, please seek technical assistance through the Inspira "need Help" link.

    Method of Application

    Interested and qualified? Go to United Nations Office at Nairobi (UNON) on to apply

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